Updates

Sudden Denouement’s First Short Story Literary Prize – Open For Submissions

Be sure to check this out!
I’m definitely intrigued by this prompt.


Since its inception in 2016, The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective has had the privilege of featuring some of today’s most fearless writers. With members that span the globe and editors who share a passion for pushing boundaries, we as a collective have enjoyed reading, promoting, and watching the success of each individual artist as they […]

via Sudden Denouement’s First Short Story Literary Prize – Open For Submissions Nov 1, 2018 — A Global Divergent Literary Collective

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Updates

November Notes

The third-annual November Notes is back!

Are you as excited as I am?

Here’s the rundown. This year, the guidelines are the same.

  • Each day during the month of November,
    a new song will be your prompt.
  • Take whatever part of the day’s selection
    that resonates with you the most.
  • Create something. Anything.
    Poetry, flash fiction, photography — the choice is yours.
  • Share it on your Instagram or blog — just be sure to use the right tag.
    • #novembernotes2018 on Instagram, NovemberNotes on your blog.
  • My co-host, the very talented Dipendra Tamang — and I — will do our best to show our support.

To listen and follow along to each
of the songs on Spotify, click here.
Otherwise, look below for a full list of the songs.

  1. For This You Were Born by UNSECRET Feat. Fleurie
  2. Losing My Religion by R.E.M
  3. Embody Me by Novo Amor
  4. Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  5. Wolves by Down Like Silver
  6. Spanish Rose (Original Stereo Mix) by Van Morrison
  7. Wildfire by SYML
  8. Heart Of Gold by Neil Young
  9. Lend Me The Courage Of Stars by Lights & Motion
  10. Nights In White Satin (Single Version) by The Moody Blues
  11. Catch The Wind by High Highs
  12. No Rain by Blind Melon
  13. Blinded by Emmit Fenn
  14. Sensitive Kind by John Mayall
  15. Wastelands by Amber Run
  16. Diamonds And Rust by Joan Baez
  17. This Is Us Colliding by Talos
  18. Stairway To Heaven by Led Zeppelin
  19. On The Nature Of Daylight by Max Richter, et al.
  20. The Girl From Ipanema by João Gilberto, Stan Getz, and Astrud Gilberto
  21. Life And Death by Paul Cardall
  22. With Or Without You (Remastered) by U2
  23. Pistols At Dawn (Bonus Track) by Seinabo Sey
  24. The Joker by The Steve Miller Band
  25. Across The Sea by The Sweeplings
  26. The Price by Twisted Sister
  27. Adagio In E Minor (From “Sunshine) by The City Of Prague Philharmonic
  28. Hurt by Johnny Cash
  29. The Hunger In Your Haunt by Crywolf
  30. November Rain by Guns ‘N Roses

We look forward to seeing what wonderful creations you come up with!

~Sarah Doughty

Poetry

Omens

“I met him once.
Late at night while I walked
down a dark road.
D e a t h .”

I met him once. Late at night while I walked on my own down a dark road. Only the moon illuminated my path, and there were no other souls in sight. Back then, walks like that were soothing. They cleared my head. But when I saw the tall, shadowy figure drop out of sight ahead of me, I knew I should turn back. That if I kept going, I wouldn’t like what waited for me. But I told myself that it was irrational. I saw the wind blowing through the trees, not a person. And certainly not a flash of something silver.

So I told myself, just keep going — the next stop sign would loop me back around towards home. I told myself, ignore the quickening pace of my heartbeat. Ignore that little voice in the back of my head telling me to run the opposite direction. In hindsight, I should’ve listened to those feelings. And of course, those instincts were right. When I approached the spot I thought I saw him, I heard a crunching on the gravel behind me. I spun around, and knew instantly who he was. D e a t h .

He clucked his tongue at me through the black hood that cast his entire face in shadow. I could’ve sworn I could see his dead, gray eyes, but a small voice in my head told me it was impossible. “You shouldn’t be out here, little girl,” he hissed. That was when all the blood drained from my face and I caught sight of the blade on his back when he moved to circle around me. “Don’t worry, I’m not here for you. But I’ll be seeing you.” He nodded to me in goodbye and then he disappeared into the shadows again.

For a long time, I stood there, gaping at the blackness where he retreated. And when I finally caught my breath, with my racing heart slowed to a reasonable level, I ran back the way I came. By sunrise the following morning, my mind was already trying to discredit my memory. But I knew the truth. I met Death, face to face. And he let me live. Was it a warning? I didn’t know.

But when I made my way to the kitchen for coffee before class, I overheard the local newscaster talking about a drunk driver that struck a tree not far from the intersection I was heading towards before my encounter. I knew that road. That driver would’ve hit me before he even saw I was there. I couldn’t fathom why Death stopped me. But I knew one thing. He wanted me to keep living. For now.

I didn’t take it as a bad omen. How could I when Death saved my life?

© Sarah Doughty

Flash and Micro Fiction, Poetry

Dead Bodies And Unseen Ghosts

“The problem isn’t so much
that I know I’m dead.
What I don’t understand
is why I’m still here.”

Do you see that over there? The chalked outline of a broken body? That’s me. Or at least it was. Now, I’m different. A little mad, maybe. Belligerent even. Because no one sees me anymore.

The problem isn’t so much that I know I’m dead. What I don’t seem to understand is why I’m still here. I believed that, in death, we just stop. Much like going to sleep. Only we never wake up again. But here I am, less than a dozen feet away from my lifeless body, trying to reconcile what I’m experiencing.

Some instantaneous flashes of brain activity? Or maybe, is this some sort of afterlife? No one can see or hear me. As I moved around the lot and the people scurrying around in the background like static, I stared at my former body.

I was fixated. Like a mouth to flame, I couldn’t bring myself to look away. And the longer I stood there, the more I put the pieces together.

My body is dead, but my spirit is very much alive.

© Sarah Doughty

I can’t help but wonder
how long I have left.
Or, if I’m here alone.

A little thing inspired
by this month’s festivities.

PTSD and Awareness, Updates

Blood Into Ink: Your Writing Wanted

The incredible people at Blood Into Ink are looking for guest writers to submit pieces that coincide with the backbone of their collective effort: surviving and overcoming all forms of abuse or neglect. It is a safe space to share stories, connect with other survivors, and be a part of a community that understands what it means to survive. I’m honored to participate in this collaborative. If you’re interested in learning more, click here.

Updates

November Notes 2017

Back by popular demand, the 2017 November Notes challenge is here!

Each day, during the month of November, write a poem inspired by that day’s corresponding song. Write what the sound makes you feel. How the lyrics move you. Anything that awakens your muse.

I’ve teamed up with the lovely Máh of @mah.writes and Rosema of @areadingwriter for this challenge, so be sure to follow them if you aren’t already. Use the #NovemberNotes tag and ping back to this post to make sure I don’t miss any of your pieces! Have fun!

I’ve added the list of songs below,
and I’ve included the image for easy reference
at the bottom of this post.
To listen to the songs on Spotify, click here.

1. The Night We Met – Lord Huron
2. New Rules – Dua Lipa
3. Wilderness – Jon Bryant
4. All the Pretty Girls  – Kaleo
5. Unbreakable Smile – Tori Kelly
6. Wild Heart – The Bleachers feat. Sara Bareilles
7. Holocene – Bon Iver
8. 1-800-273-8255 – Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid
9. Broken Vessels – Hillsong United
10. Wise Enough – Lamb
11. What About Us – P!nk
12. Too Good at Goodbyes – Sam Smith
13. If I Be Wrong- Wolf Larsen
14. Don’t Speak – No Doubt
15. Headlights – Dave Barnes
16. Words As Weapons – Birdy
17. Possession – Sarah McLachlan
18. Chariot – Jacob Lee
19. Midnight – Coldplay
20. Wreck of the Day – Anna Nalick
21. Great Escape – Gavin James
22. Letter Never Sent – Young summer
23. Heal Over – KT Tunstall
24. Like the Wind – Triosence, Sara Gazarek
25. Tethered – Sleeping At Last
26. I’m Confessin’ – Lizz Wright
27. Hide and Seek – Fatai
28. Into the Night – Beacon
29. Just Hold Me – Maria Mena
30. Break the Shell – India Arie

Updates

Submit To Whisper and the Roar

Whisper and the Roar is accepting submissions from feminist writers or pieces involving feminism or empowerment. Head to the link below for more details.

Source: Your Writing Wanted: Whisper and the Roar

Updates

Sudden Denouement Is Recruiting

Sudden Denouement is a community of like-minded individuals who strive to share and promote each other’s writing.

But really, it’s so much more than that. They also happen to publish books from some pretty incredible people.

So if you’re a writer interested in joining this collective, either as a guest or a contributor, head to the link below to get acquainted with Sudden Denouement and find out how you can be a part of it.

Source: Sudden Denouement is seeking new writers

Random Thoughts

November Notes Challenge

novembernoteschallenge

My good friend Rosema over at A Reading Writer and I have developed a very musical month of prompts for November called #NovemberNotes. Using diverse song titles that sound beautiful and can evoke some strong emotions, but their lyrics and titles hold significance, too. You can create whatever you want — poetry, prose, short stories, take photographs that remind you of the song, etc. You have full creative control. I can’t wait for November to begin. Won’t you join us?

Here are the list of songs:

1. Almost Lovers by A Fine Frenzy
2. Details in the Fabric by Jason Mraz
3. The Other Side Of Paradise by Glass Animals
4. Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles
5. Criminal by Fiona Apple
6. Street Called Mercy by Hillsong United
7. Yellow by Coldplay
8. Perfect Strangers by Jonas Blue
9. Cupid Carries A Gun by Marilyn Manson
10. Air by Rayvon Owen
11. Paradise Circus by Massive Attack
12. Out of My League by Stephen Speaks
13. Shell Suite by Chad Valley
14. Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran
15. Midnight City by M83
16. Sweet Serendipity by Lee DeWyze
17. Brave Enough by Lindsey Stirling and Christina Perri
18. Meaning by Gavin DeGraw
19. Pain Told Love by Tribe Society
20. Floodgates by Colbie Caillat
21. Recreational by Aaron Krause
22. Free Fallin’ by John Mayer
23. You Are A Memory by Message To Bears
24. Buses and Trains by Bachelor Girl
25. Up In Flames by Ruelle
26. For the First Time by The Script
27. This Night by Black Lab
28. Look After You by The Fray
29. Hunger Of The Pine by alt-J
30. Turning Tables by Adele

Flash and Micro Fiction, Photography

Five Years Ago

photo credit @s_a_w_a_n

September 11, 2026

Twenty-five years ago, one of my nightmares came to life, and it haunted me ever since. I remembered hearing about the people, falling from the sky. Plummeting to their deaths. My disbelieving eyes couldn’t look away. But, the nightmare continued.

It seemed like everything fell from the skies that day.

I remembered the shock and the numbness that lingered for weeks, along with brief glimpses of panic that didn’t fully manifest until fifteen years ago when the rest of my nightmares turned out to be true.

But none of it compared to five years ago, when everything fell from the sky. Five years ago, when everyone died, except for me.

© Sarah Doughty

For the #PiccadillyPrompts challenge
I’m hosting on Instagram,
based on prompts in their prompt journals.
This one is from 300 Writing Prompts,
which they were kind enough to let me share:
“Write a journal entry ten years in the future.”